“An employer’s brand should be built from the inside out. Just as part of an organization’s marketing message should come from its customers, the employer brand should be championed by its employees. For better or worse, they are the vehicles by which the message will be conveyed on blogs and social networks.”
I wrote that in an article entitled Organic Branding for Employers for Universum Quarterly, the world’s first periodical for employer branding, in March of 2009. At that time we didn’t have the great employee advocacy software platforms that we have now to assist and encourage employees to share great company culture and news stories.
Employee advocacy enables your company’s people to help evangelize your brand while helping to grow their social networks and their own thought leadership. There are several major software platforms that make it easy to distribute great stories for them to share.
Why We Did It
CA Technologies is a truly great place to work and has an amazing culture. We understand that 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from a person more than the same content delivered by a brand. So we wanted to give our most interesting selling point as an employer, our people, a voice and the encouragement to use it. In this way we could grow our prospective talent pool and allow our job candidates to get to know us better as people, not just as a brand.
Our organization was already using an advocacy platform to help employees deliver company news and events to their social networks. But we felt it was important to have a platform more geared to job seekers to deliver not just company news, but also more personal stories, helpful tips for job searching from 3rd party sources, as well as (occasionally) our key job openings.
We chose QUEsocial as our solution provider due to their expertise in employer brand marketing and their standard functionality meeting our requirements:
How We Did It
We started with 80 seats on the platform, which is a little less than one percent of our global headcount, but allowed a wide range in advocates. Seats were divided among a mix of recruiters, HR leaders, executives, hiring managers, marketers and externally influential tech leaders at CA.
Our content strategy consisted of posting one piece of content per region, per workday. A section for QUEsocial was added to our content calendar to ensure platform-optimized scheduling and copy. Timing for push notifications was considered to maximize prime time for each region: Americas 12pm EST/9am PT, EMEA 10am GMT/UTC (5am EST), India 10:30am/Australia 4pm (12am EST).
The content mix considered business objectives for CA’s employer brand, using a 5“Gives”: 1“Ask” ratio.
- 40% Interview/Resume/Career tips
- 20% Diversity in tech
- 25% Tech industry news/ highlights
- 15% Job posting or CA news
Getting employees involved in spreading your company’s authentic culture and helping to attract more great talent to the organization isn’t just flipping a switch to turn on some software. It involves training and a well devised roll-out plan and regular communication. But the results are pretty amazing if done properly. We’ve seen a vast increase in the network growth of our champions (the 80 QUESocial users picked for initial proof of concept). This means more people are seeing our employer stories as well as our people. This leads to increased referrals, which is a key goal.
Five months after the launch of QUEsocial, we collected all program data launch-to-date, and the quantitative results were as impressive as the qualitative feedback from users. We achieved over 1,000 percent more audience growth to the growth over the same time period on our owned CA Careers social media channels. This boost in audience for our content resulted in a 33 percent increase in its total reach.
With this augmented reach, our employer brand content was undoubtedly more trusted when shared by our employees, as we saw in comparative engagement data. Articles shared through QUEsocial had 68 percent more clicks on average than those shared by our careers accounts on social media. As our accounts share an average of 10 pieces of content per day, compared to one per day on QUEsocial, they did receive more total clicks. However, QUEsocial came close to two-thirds that number, giving our content a 70 percent boost in total clicks.
To tie these incredible results into a return-on-investment, we compared paid media market rates to the value of added content marketing through employees’ networks, via the program. We learned that it nearly matched the market value for CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-impression). When comparing the market value to QUEsocial costs, we saw a 344 percent ROI in CPC and a 2329 percent ROI in CPM. We estimate that we have saved in the region of $300,000 over five months, when compared to traditional advertising costs.
Essential to the implementation and success of our project was CA’s Talent Acquisition Community Manager, Rachel Duran. According to Rachel, “For years now, employee advocacy in B2C and B2B has proven itself to be an effective method for spreading brand awareness and building consumer trust by empowering your most engaged employees to evangelize through their social media networks without fear of missteps. It’s exciting to see these results not only mirrored, but magnified, in the context of recruiting and employer brand. The networks of our advocates and employer brand channels have grown organically with valuable connections as a direct result of our talent acquisition advocacy program. It’s exciting to see the passion from our advocates and to receive their thoughtful feedback and suggestions for improving the program, making it more impactful each month.”
- Employee Advocacy for an employer brand builds trust among current and potential candidates
- A program can be implemented without cost, but an employee advocacy technology application is a cost-effective solution for user adoption of and engagement in the program
- ROI can be measured when comparing costs as well as qualitative results, such as self-reported hiring wins
- Prioritize a winning content and audience segmentation strategy
- Ask for feedback, then improve and optimize before expanding the program to the enterprise
Originally posted on Fishdogs blog.